Fast emerging, young prodigy and talent MRD has been on our radar for a while now. Initially drawn to his Sublimation release back in 2019, it was arguably his Superwoman 2.0 record which truly put the Norwegian techno superstar on the map. In fact, the title track “Superwoman” featuring Sticky Icky was picked up by a multitude of publications and DJ’s from around the world — heralded as one of the best electronic music tracks of the year by many including ourselves. With such quality always comes a degree of pressure to perform, however in MRD’s world there is not such thing. Renowned for his strong online media presence, and love for his pets, MRD has spent the last couple of years racking up a slew of formidable anthems that have the ability to change the mood of any dance floor, including the likes of “Rebel Yell” — a cover of Billy Idol’s classic — and various tracks for compilations such as the recent “Kväl” for Paris collective Possession.
Hot on the heels of his last EP alongside close friend and DJ Julian Muller, MRD swiftly returns to Julian’s personal label NALI for his first solo outing on the imprint showcasing his delightful Out Of Red EP. Keeping in line with his trademark, nostalgic tone from the pop-leaning aesthetic of the 90’s, the Norwegian serves up a four-track journey of deep emotion — layering new wave, trance and early 2000s grooves with his trademark lyricism. Showing no signs of slowing down, MRD continues to take the techno scene by storm and deserves all the praise that comes his way. Check out the premieres of his new Out Of Red EP on HATE and pre-order the record on Bandcamp.
Hey! How are you? Did you have a nice Christmas? And what did you get up to for New Years Eve?
Hey! I’m doing really good! I had a great Christmas, I was just chilling at home with my girlfriend and all my pets. On New Years Eve we threw a small party with our friends. So fun!
Let’s get straight into it. You have a brand new EP Nali 2 coming out on your close friend Julian Muller’s new label Nali. What were the main inspirations behind the record?
I rarely plan anything for an EP, but we picked the tracks together. We felt it covered a lot of my versatile producing styles. I wanted to show more of my vocals as well.
Can you explain the meaning behind each track name?
WTSO: I had this track in my head for a while. I wanted to create a big break that was gonna feel like an 80s ballad song and by accident I changed the last chord and gave it a more jazzy feel to it as well. It was a really fun track to produce and I can’t wait to perform it live. I think all of my tracks have that purpose — I picture them how I would want to hear them as a live performance.
Sala: I’m very influenced by latin psychedelic music, like old cumbian music from Peru, and I always wanted to create a more latin techno track. I dedicated it to one of my friends. Big up Sala!
Synkron: I was supposed to make an ambient track with those [synkron] pads. It was a happy accident, and I was so happy because it looped so well. Eventually I layed down the drum tracks and there it was.
Out Of Red: This one is hard to explain because it has many different moods. I wanted to make my vocals lead and be more present. Here, I’m telling a story about someone living in a small town, a close friend moves away and you start to feel alone. I’m very happy about the drums and guitars, I tried to move it more towards punk/post-punk but I ended up including techno as well. I think it’s one of my favourite songs I’ve written in a while.
Many of your productions contain vocals which give it a super nostalgic feel. How important do you think lyrics are in music and do you provide them yourself?
Good question. Honestly I haven’t listened to lyrics that much, I usually just naturally listen to the melodies. But lately i have been writing more lyrics and poems. I really enjoy it because now, my ears start to listen to the lyrics more. I do think it’s important to get your message through, it doesn’t need to be super complicated and a lot of words. Keep it simple and let the listener create their own stories from the lyrics.
What was the creative and production process behind the record?
I did a load of recordings from vocals, bass, guitar and percussions. It took some time but it’s so rewarding and fun. I learned so much from that record — about myself and production wise.
Did you run into any difficulties whilst producing the EP? Or anything you learnt the hard way during the process?
Luckily no difficulties, I got really lucky this time. Usually there is always something shit that happens. BUT i do remember my computer crashed with all the projects, luckily I could enter my HD and copy that shit asap haha!
If you had to choose a favourite track, which would it be and why?
Maybe “Out Of Red”. It helped become more aware of lyric writing and word play. Also it gave me hope of doing more tracks like that.
You of course have some amazing pets including your super sweet dog, Daffy! What have their reactions been like to the new EP? Have they given it the approval?
Honestly Daffy hates my drums and vocals, he thinks they are too annoying. He is around me so much when I’m recording which makes me more calm and zen. My cats do like my pads, they are more into old school ambient music from Brian Eno.
Released on Julian Muller’s new Nali label following your first joint release, how did the relationship between you two start and do you spend a lot of time bouncing ideas off each other?
I think I got to know Julian around the time when the pandemic started. We both had an ARTS release in common and we were both making versatile music. At that time I think we were one of the few artists creating that eurodance vibe. Fans began to ask us when we were gonna start making music together. After some time we chatted and decided to give it a try — the first song we did was “Fall In Love”. After, Julian decided to create a label called ‘NALI’ and since we had already become good friends “Fall In Love” simply had to come out on his label. I’m so happy it did. It’s a meaningful track for both of us because it represents our friendship and our future. I think we definitely are calling each other every week talking about projects. I love that dude!
You’ve been playing in some really cool cities recently (especially Manchester!). Where do you feel most at home and do you have a favourite club?
It’s hard to say that, because every place has a different vibe. So far I’m enjoying every city and country. Manchester was special for me because the city has a lot of history and music that I’m inspired by.
If MRD had a superpower, what would it be and why?
Psychic and talking to demons/ ghosts. Because that’s cool af.
‘Out of red EP’ is out now on NALI and is available to purchase on Bandcamp.